Monthly Archives: MAY 2018

“Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and “Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship
26.05.18 - S Pal

ON WEDNESDAY, May 23, HD Kumaraswamy finally took the oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, and the resultant pictures jolted India's polity. Sonia Gandhi stood next to Mayawati, Sharad Pawar on the other side, Akhilesh Yadav beaming, Sitaram Yechury in a crisp kurta, Ajit Singh’s glasses firmly on his nose and even Velu Narayanasamy looking like a VIP.

Even as news anchors discussed whether the Opposition unity will hold till 2019, for the people of Punjab, there was something very intriguing about that picture, and rightly so. It was not easy not to miss someone who was not in the frame. The absence was much more jarring than his presence.

Congress effectively has only one chief minister in India now, and that is Amarinder Singh. (If you insist on splitting hair and counting Puducherry CM, then let's grant the party two chief ministers.)

On Rahul Gandhi's comeuppance day, when mom Sonia Gandhi ...

Jinnah today, Nehru tomorrow
12.05.18 - Jawed Naqvi

YOU COULD HAVE spotted, as I did, Mohammad Ali Jinnah in an official portrait at the Indian Muslim League’s headquarters in Kerala in the 1990s. I’m not sure if the picture is still around after the party split down the middle, subsequently. Asked to comment on a political ally’s seemingly awkward connection in an election year, the Congress party’s phlegmatic spokesman Vitthalrao Gadgil inhaled his snuff and smiled: "They see him as the founder of their party.” That was that, as it should be.

As for the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Sir Syed Ahmad Khan founded it as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College ostensibly to improve his community’s chances after it was picked out for shabby treatment by the British following the role of Muslims in the 1857 uprising.

In 1916, at the Lucknow Pact, Sarojini Naidu applauded Jinnah as an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. An unwitting point her compliment masked was it ...

Sohrabuddin Encounter Case: Time To Bring Focus Back On
06.05.18 - VIPIN PUBBY*

WHILE THE HIGHEST court of the country has ruled out any foul play in the death in 2014 of CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the high-profile case of alleged false encounter of suspected terrorist Sohrabuddin Shaikh, the suspicion lurking over the circumstances leading to the death of the judge are not likely to be forgotten soon.

Neither the opposition parties nor those inimical to the all-power BJP chief Amit Shah, the right hand of prime minister Narendra Modi, would give a decent burial to the question of ‘mysterious’ death of Judge Loya. It is, however, time to bring the focus back on the infamous case of alleged encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Shah and his associates. It had taken place 18 years ago in Gujarat when Modi was the chief minister of the state and Shah his home minister.
Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kausar Bi

The ‘encounter’, which has remained suspect ...

The reality is that war-making is a profitable enterprise

THIS PAST TUESDAY was the International Day of Workers, an occasion for labour movements and leftists the world over to recall the day in 1886 when unarmed labourers, carrying white flags symbolising peace, protested against appalling working conditions in the American city of Chicago. Authorities fired indiscriminately, and the white flags were turned red by the spilt blood of the peaceful protesters.

May Day is still celebrated in Pakistan and the rest of the world but the heyday of the organised labour movement and traditional communist parties that spoke for the haloed proletariat would appear to have passed. Nevertheless, as Mahir Ali noted in his column earlier this week, the contradictions of contemporary capitalism are arguably even more pronounced than when the anti-capitalist revolutionary upheavals of the previous century were taking place.
Peace is a pretty hackneyed word, particularly given that armies often who claim to be its biggest defenders.
Indeed, the blood ...

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!
03.05.18 - KAMJAAT SINGH

 Sitaram Yechury at Punjab State Congress of CPI(M) on April 10, 2018 at Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur).
AT A TIME when Punjab is in the throes of a massive social upheaval and there is a complete disconnect between its farmers, farm labourers and those dependent on rural economy and others in towns and cities who are more cued into structures of political power, one would have thought that vast swathes of political space is open to a strong Left or left of Centre, progressive, liberal forces to storm in and lead.

Instead, Punjab's Left seems completely out of reckoning. Neither the CPI appointing its new State Secretary made for many headlines nor could the CPI(M) manage many eyeballs even with its 22nd Party Congress in Hyderabad from April 18-22, 2018.
The comrades in Punjab let down the local populace when they failed to understand the essence of the uprising in the late 1980s and early ...




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